A Regional Solution for a Transnational Problem? - A Mechanism to Unilaterally Tax Maritime Emissions While Satisfying Extraterritoriality, Tax Competition and Political Constraints
Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics (RILE) Working Paper Series No. 2014/06
70 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2014 Last revised: 14 Nov 2017
Date Written: August 13, 2015
Among academics and policymakers, it is generally agreed that implicit tax subsidies for maritime fuels — which are currently granted around the world — are inefficient, but that their abolishment requires a unanimous international agreement. Such an agreement is deemed indispensable because any unilateral action would be impossible due to massive tax competition in this industry, competitiveness effects and the legal limits on regulating an industry operating mostly in international waters, thus outside of any state’s jurisdiction. However, an international agreement to solve these problems has proven impossible to reach, thus resulting in the conservation of the status quo. To break this deadlock, we propose a mechanism whereby a small coalition of countries, to start with, can abolish these implicit tax subsidies even in the absence of an international agreement. The effects of acting without a world-wide agreement are analyzed from an economic perspective, taking into account the current legal framework. The coalition considered in this article focuses on EU member states, although the mechanism is applicable more widely.
Keywords: Emissions Taxes, Maritime, Tax Competition, Law and Economics, European Union
JEL Classification: H23, H87, K33, K34, Q54, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation